ECommerce is one of the most booming sectors in the tech industry. The only thing you need to get started is a site. Here are our top 6 eCommerce platforms.
The first eCommerce platform on our list is Squarespace. You might know Squarespace for being
Well, you are right about both things, but Squarespace has recently been moving towards the eCommerce side of things. This means a lot of the templates, tools
The major pro that Squarespace has it that it works with templates and a drag & drop builder. This means this platform is very user-friendly and even beginners can make a professional-looking website. Squarespace also offers tools that show you information about revenue, traffic sources, SEO score and much more.
The problem with all of this is that Squarespace is still kind of new when talking about eCommerce platforms. This means it lacks some features and is restricted in others. For example, your customers can currently only pay with PayPal and Apple Pay.
Unlike other platforms on this list, Squarespace does not have a place where you can install apps for your shop. The only way to install apps is by the limited few 3rd party tools that Squarespace offers.
5) Wix Stores
Like Squarespace, Wix is also a website building platform. Both of these platforms then started to integrate eCommerce tools. Because of this, you will see a lot of similarities between Squarespace and Wix. The way Wix integrated these tools is through a special pricing plan called “eCommerce”, also known as Wix Stores.
The pros of Wix stores are almost identical to those of Squarespace. A drag & drop website builder, marketing and sales tools, etc. One major difference though is that there are over 500 templates that focus on an online store. But the main reason we chose to put Wix Stores over Squarespace on our list is the quantity of apps Wix Stores has.
Sadly, this is not enough. Because Wix started out as a website building platform it still misses some advanced eCommerce tools and apps. While this can be improved on, currently it is not the case.
We also don’t like that you can’t change your template once your site is published. This means you will need to stick with the same theme forever. Unless you abandon your current site and buy a new one.
Volusions is another drag & drop, website builder. But why is it rated higher than Wix and/or Squarespace? Well, Volusions has always been an eCommerce platform since its release in 1999. This means that Volusions, unlike Squarespace and Wix, has more eCommerce tools and only focuses on marketing and sales.
This is perfect for anyone who only wants an online store. You get 11 free templates that are designed to optimize sales and you can customize your own website design. Besides that, you get all of the product management tools already included.
As it is a drag & drop website builder, there is not much you need to learn. And if you do need some extra help you can contact Volusions 24/7 support, although this doesn’t come with the basic plan. Alternatively, there are plenty of guides online.
We don’t like that the premium templates are pretty expensive. This almost forces you to choose one of the 11 free ones if you are not willing to spend a lot of money. You also need to pay extra for SSL which is a must-have for an online store. Lastly, the pricing structure of Volusions is kind of weird. You pay for an amount of bandwidth. If your website exceeds that limit you will need to pay more.
Next up we have the eCommerce equivalent of WordPress. We say this because Magento is very similar to WordPress. You can install both of them onto your server which means it is free. This also means that Magento is open-source which gives you a lot of customizability.
The only cost you will have is a server/website where Magento will be installed to. Well, that is the only necessary cost. A lot of plugins, themes and apps will cost money. This can be a one time or monthly/annual fee. This means the price of having an eCommerce store using Magento can be very high.
As Magento is open source and you need to run it on your own server there is no one who will manage the back-end stuff. This includes regular updates, optimization and bug fixes. Additionally, if you want some more advanced customization you will need to code this in PHP. This is either an additional skill you need to know or learn or an additional cost if you hire someone to do it.
But there are also a lot of pros. The first one is that you are in control of everything. While we also mentioned this as a con, if you have a fair bit of technical knowledge you can make a very good site. You don’t have to rely on anyone and go by their standards.
Lastly, if you don’t want all of the hassle hosting Magento yourself, you can get the cloud-based enterprise option. The problem with this is that the license is rumored to set you back 18000$ annually.
At number 2 on our list, we have Bigcommerce. This is one of the big boys when talking about eCommerce platforms. Bigcommerce is very similar to Volusions that it is a cloud-based eCommerce focused website builder. While you don’t need to know how to code, if you know some HTML and CSS you will be able to customize your store a lot.
Bigcommerce is an all-in-one service meaning the service and hosting is all included in your plan. They also offer 10 free templates and a lot more paid ones. The paid ones are fairly expensive. If you know how to code in HTML and CSS though, you can make or edit your own template in their built-in editor.
Despite all of this Bigcommerce is not ideal for beginners as there is no free/entry-level subscription plan. It is focused more on businesses that handle a lot of customers on a regular basis. You basically pay for how high the limit on your site’s revenue is.
But besides that Bigcommerce is a great eCommerce platform. It offers tons of app, plugins
And finally, the best eCommerce platform in our opinion is, Shopify. Most of you have probably heard of Shopify from all of the dropshipping tutorials online. While Shopify is perfect for that, it is also a perfect platform for any kind of online store. Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform which is ideal for most people.
The reason we think Shopify is the best platform out there is that it includes everything. It has a lot of cheap or free plugins, extensions
Shopify is just the best all-in-one platform. There is nothing major you miss out on. It is priced fairly well and apps are not too expensive either. Only the advanced apps can get expensive but you don’t need them. Like the other eCommerce platforms, Shopify also offers very good marketing and product managing tools.
Customizing the templates can get difficult as it is done using liquid, a not so well known coding language. This language is based on PHP so PHP experts might have an easier time customizing templates.